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Indianapolis seeks developer for old Oaktree Apartments site on far east side

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — City officials are taking another step forward towards revitalizing the former crime ridden Oaktree Apartments site.

The city is now looking for development firms to take on the task of revitalizing.

“We used to call it den of inequity and it certainly was crime ridden,” the Mayor of Indianapolis, Joe Hogsett, said on Wednesday during a press conference.

For years, the former Oaktree Apartments was a hotspot for crime on the city’s far east side.

Police reports show officers were called for rape, child abduction, assault and other crimes.

The city worked for years to get the owner to fix the place or sell it.

Finally In 2019, the city bought it, and tore the apartments down.

“It was infested. It was bad and so we were happy when it got demolished because it was an eyesore,” the District 14 councillor La Keisha Jackson, said.

Since the demolition, the mayor says community members have come up with a plan to revitalize the place that focuses on their needs.

“It’ll be a space where people can congregate and feel positive in it and engage and socialize with each other indoors, outdoors space and greenspace all together,” Jackson said.

“I hope that in partnership with neighborhood organizations we’ll be able to develop these acres in ways that enhance the far east side and are in keeping with the neighbors’ vision,” Hogsett said.

On Wednesday, the city opened the formal bidding process, looking for plans to bring new housing and civic space.

Submissions are due to the city by the end of January.

Community members say they are looking forward to the new changes.

“The youth now there’s no guidance, so I figured if we get a couple of leaders out here with some good heads on their shoulders we can make a positive change,” Kevin Thomas, an Indianapolis resident, said.

“We are a community that helps and supports each other we just need the resources. We don’t need a handout, we need a handup and so this community deserves that,” Jackson said.

Some people say they are excited about the future of the city’s east side community.